It is vital that we spend time in God’s Word.
But it’s not always easy.
We read a chapter and we don’t know what to get out of it or even how to start to understand it.
I thought I could try to help you get a little something out of what you are reading by providing you with some questions to ask as you look at the text. Good questions are a good start to understanding. Sometimes there will be more questions, sometimes less.
You can do this!
So, get a notebook, a pen, your Bible, and if you would like some help, take some time to answer the questions, and you may be surprised by all God teaches you.
1. What came to Hosea? Why is that significant for us to remember as we begin to read this book?
2. What does Hosea’s name mean?
3. When did the word of the Lord come to Hosea?
4. Who were the kings of Judah while Hosea was prophesying? How long did each of these kings rule? Describe their rule in a word or two.
5. What king of Israel does he mention? What was happening in Israel during his rule? Who else was a prophet to this nation during this time?
6. Give a title to this section.
7. What was the first thing that the Lord said to Hosea? (How do you feel about that?)
8. What word is repeated three times in this verse?
9. What does whoredom mean? What does children of whoredom mean? Why is this command so shocking? Do you have any questions about this particular command?
10. Read Isaiah 20:3, Jeremiah 16:2, and Ezekiel 24:17. What difficult things
did God ask these prophets to do? It’s hard to say which of these instructions is the most difficult, but I would think God’s call on Hosea’s life might have been the hardest. As you think about these commands, what does all this teach you about God?
11. What is the reason God gave Hosea this command? (As we look at Hosea’s relationship with Gomer we are also looking at Israel’s relationship with God.)
12. Now think about that. How did the land commit great whoredom?
13. Forsaking the Lord is described as great whoredom. What does that tell you about the nature of sin and even about God’s relationship with His people?
14. This idea of God being married to His people is not only an Old Testament concept. What New Testament passages speak of this? What comfort does that give you as a believer?
15. What was Hosea’s response to God’s command?
16. What were the names of the children Gomer gave birth to? Now, let’s think about these children a little bit.
17. In verse 3 it says she conceived and bore who a son? Now, look at verse 6 and verse 8. What pronoun is missing in these verses? Why might that be significant?
18. Why was this first child’s name supposed to be Jezreel? Now, we are going to have to think on this one. God says he is going to punish the house of Jehu and then in the next two statements he talks about the house of what and the bow of what? So there is some parallel between the house of Jehu and what?
19. Now big picture. This son was to be a sign of what?
20. The challenge is thinking through the part about punishing the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel. We have a couple of options. Let me give you a quote and have you read it and then explain the two different options that the author presents and why he chooses the one he does.
“Many suppose that the blood of Jezreel refers to the shedding of the blood of the house of Ahab and Ahaziah when Jehu usurped the throne (2 Kings 9:21-28), but this proposal suffers from serious difficulties. First, the kingdom of Israel did not come to an end with Jehu’s dynasty. Israel survived for 30 years after Zechariah, the last king of that dynasty. Second, God commanded Jehu to exterminate Ahab’s dynasty, and commended his work (2 Kings 9:1-10;10:30; cf. 2 Chron. 22:7). It seems unlikely that the Lord would punish someone for carrying out his command. It is better to take the ‘house of Jehu’ as parallel to house of Israel, and thus another name for Israel. By this reading, the blood of Jezreel refers to 1 Kings 21 where Ahab, who promoted Baalism as the national religion of Israel, permitted the murder of Naboth, a man loyal to the Lord, in order to seize his vineyard in Jezreel. Appropriately, this verse sets the tenor of the rest of the book: the ongoing confrontation between Baal and the God of Israel.”
21. What is it that God says he is going to break? What is this? If a soldier uses this and you break it, what have you done? What is God saying he will do to Israel then?
22. The second child is described in verse 6. What is the reason for her unusual name? What will God do for Judah in verse 7? And how?
23. One of Israel and Judah’s big problems was that they were constantly trusting in bow or sword and war. (Look at Isaiah 30:15,16 – how does God say they would be saved and how did they respond to that?) Now, what is the heart behind trusting in these things instead of God? Why do nations trust in these things?
24. In verse 8 and 9, Gomer has another child. What is the name of this child and why is this child named this?
25. Look up Leviticus 26:12. What does God say to Israel there? So, what’s happened and why has this happened?
26. Give a summary title to this section.
27. What English word begins verse 10? What does that word mean? In other words, what is that word doing here?
28. Why is this verse a bit shocking after what we’ve read so far?
29. Is this passage talking about something that has happened or something that will happen?
30. So verses 2-9 have to do with the present and near future and verses 10- 2:1 have to do with the far future. What is going to happen to the number of the children of Israel? (See Genesis 13:16 – what promise does God make Abraham there?) What does this tell you about God and His promise and people’s sin?
31. What are these people going to be called and where are they going to be called that?
32. In verse 11, what does Hosea say is going to happen to the children of Israel and Judah? Why is that significant?
33. What are they going to appoint for themselves?
34. What do you think that means?
35. What are they going to say to one another in 2:1?
36. What are some of the things this passage teaches us about God?
37. Give a summary title to this section.
38. Up to this point, we’ve been reading a straight up story. This section looks a little different in our Bibles though, doesn’t it? That’s because it is poetry. Since we are going to be reading poetry, we are going to be reading more picturesque kinds of language. What does that mean we will really have to work at doing as we study this passage?
39. We are going to assume that Hosea is speaking here, but that ultimately, what he is says is meant to go beyond Gomer, and is intended to describe God’s relationship with Israel as well.
40. What does Hosea want his children to do with their mother? Why do you think he wants them to do this?
41. Obviously Hosea here is representing God as well in terms of his relationship with Israel. What does the fact that God pleads with His people tell us about God?
42. What is the reason he gives? This is a bit strange. It could be a statement of divorce or it could be a threat. I think it is a threat because God hadn’t divorced Israel as of yet. What is the nature of this threat then?
43. What exactly were the children supposed to plead with their mother to stop?
44. Now let’s look through this chapter and see what it says about how she was doing this. Read verse 5. What has she played? How has she acted? What did she say? Lovers is in the plural. What does that tell you? Why did she say she was going after her lovers? Verse 7 says she shall do what? What does that tell you about the nature of her adultery? Was she just waiting around for lovers to come to her? Was it something that happened in the “heat of the moment?” (What does this teach us about Israel’s sin!)
45. What does Hosea say that he is going to do if she refuses to put away her adultery? Let’s look at this passage and see. In verse 3, he says that he will strip her naked, and make her like a wilderness, and like a parched land. These are metaphorical statements and what do they essentially mean? The last statement is intense. He says he will do what to her with thirst? If we take this statement as directed towards Israel, what is God threatening that he would do to Israel if she won’t repent and turn from idolatry?
46. Let’s go down to verse 6 now. Gomer has said that she wants to go after her lovers, and Hosea says in verse 6 that He is going to do something as a result. What is he going to do? What is going to be the result of that? What is she going to say in the end?
47. This is obviously a kind of discipline and frustration, right? If we think of this in terms of God and Israel, Israel is wanting something but unable to get it. Why is God frustrating Israel like this? What does that tell us about God?
48. Verse 8 tells us something that is ironic. Why did Israel go after her lovers in verse 5? And yet, what does verse 8 tell us? What did Israel do with the things that God had lavished on her?
49. Because Israel used God’s blessings to give to Baal, what does God say he is going to do in verses 9-14? What does taking back grain and wine mean? What is he going to do in the presence of her lovers? What do you think that means?
50. People sometimes think of God as so far away and uncaring, but how does this passage so far challenge that way of viewing God?
51. Verse 14 represents a bit of a transition. We’ve had God pleading with Israel because of spiritual adultery, Israel continuing to pursue her “lovers”, God disciplining Israel to keep her from going to her lovers and really shaming her, and bringing her to the point where she is all alone and no one wants her anymore. At this point, what does this verse say that God is going to do?
52. What a picture! Think of this older woman who has run away from her husband after lovers who have left her all alone with absolutely nothing, all alone, shamed, unwanted, and now this husband comes back to her and does what?
53. God says Israel will call him what in that day? (This is a play on words because the word for my husband sounds a lot like the word for my Baal, so here, God uses a different name for husband in order to make it very clear that she is completely and totally devoted to God and God alone!)
54. Let’s look at what’s going to happen on that day. Verse 17 says there will
be no more what? In verse 18, God says he is going to make a covenant for them with what? What do you think that means? What is God saying about what the world will be like in that day? He then says he is going to abolish what? What does that tell us about what the world will be like in that day? And then he says in verse 19 he is going to betroth them to him for how long? What are going to be the characteristics of this marriage relationship? In verse 20, what is the climax of all these great blessings?
55. Verses 21 to 23 are all about reversals. In verse 9 and 10 what did God say he was going to take away from Israel? What is going to be given back in verse 22? She’s been taken from the land, and what will God to Israel in verse 23? And what will God say to Israel and what will Israel say back to God?
56. If you were to describe this chapter like it was a story about a man and a woman, how would the story go from beginning to the end?
57. What summary title would you give to this section?
58. What does God command Hosea to do in verse 1? In the first chapter he had told him to take a wife of whoredom. Now he tells him to do what? How is that different?
59. This is coming after the original marriage in chapter 1. What has happened to Gomer by this point?
60. What is this supposed to say about God’s relationship with Israel?
61. What does verse 2 tell us that Hosea has to do in order to have a relationship with Gomer once again? What does that say has happened to her as a result of her harlotry?
62. What does he buy her with? What command does he give her?
63. According to verse 4, what does this signify is going to happen with the nation of Israel?
64. What is going to happen after this for the children of Israel? (What three things is Israel going to do ‘after this’ in verse 5?) Make sure you’ve seen this – who is Israel going to seek?
65. Now, look back on your notes and summarize all the good things that chapters 1-3 has said is going to happen with Israel at some point in the far in the future?
66. In chapter 4, God is going to begin working through a list of problems He has with Israel and explaining the consequences they will experience for those choices.
67. God says he has a controversy with the people of the land in verse 1, and what specifically is the problem He has with them? What are the three things that are missing?
68. If you think of this as a husband speaking to his wife, what would the husband be accusing his wife of? What is God accusing Israel of?
69. Verse 1 lays out the vertical problems – problems in their relationship with God, and verse 2, goes on to describe the horizontal problems – problems in their relationship with one another that flowed out of that. There will always be problems in our relationships with one another when there are problems in our relationship with God.
70. How does the land respond to all this sin? What do you think this picture is intended to teach us about the nature of sin?
71. Whenever foolish people are rebuked, they start arguing and excusing their behavior. In verse 4, God tells the people to stop fighting with the rebuke and then identifies the group of people He is primarily concerned about. Who is this group of people? In the next verse he mentions another group. What group does he call out there?
72. Verse 5 says these two groups are doing something. What are they doing? What do you think that is saying about the spiritual leadership of Israel?
73. Next he says, “I will destroy your mother.” Mother refers to Israel. And we see that in verse 6. “I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Obviously the nation came before the priests and prophets and so they can be called mother here. But what do the people lack in verse 6 and why do they lack it? What have the priests rejected and what have they forgotten?
74. What happened as there came more and more priests? What does God say he is going to do as a result? (v.7)
75. What were the priests hungry for? What did they long for?
76. God has said that he would destroy the people. In verse 9, are the priests going to be able to escape this judgment just because they are priests?
77. God says he is going to repay the priests for their deeds. What does repay tell you about God’s justice?
78. He begins to describe the punishment they will experience in verse 10 and 11. What’s going to be the result of their pursuit of sin? This is an interesting phrase, they shall eat and not be satisfied. What is the good of eating if it doesn’t satisfy. This tells you that one of God’s punishment for sin is to give you over to your sin because that sin never does for you what you are thinking it will do.
79. In verse 11, God says that whoredom, wine and new take away something. What does it take away? Now, this idea is important in this chapter. What was the reason the people were destroyed back in verse 6, what does the end of verse 14 say will happen to a people without understanding? What does that tell you about knowledge and understanding and the value of having a proper knowledge of God and truth?
80. In verse 12, we see just how foolish the people of Israel have become. When they have a problem where do they look for answers? Who are they wanting to instruct them? Here’s the thing. A desire for sin makes you stupid.
81. They have left God for idols, that’s the end of verse 12, and they have created this whole system of false religion, that’s the beginning of verse 13. Now, how do they decide where to offer sacrifices to these false gods?
What does that tell you about the nature of their religion? At the end of verse 13, it says therefore. What is the result of the parents forsaking God and worshiping idols according to Hosea? One author writes, “There is a connection between following a false religion which is spiritual adultery and the immoral conduct which is physical adultery of the next generation. The parents turned away from God, and as a consequence he allowed their daughters and other young women to stray into sexual immorality.”
82. In verse 14, what are the women doing? What are the men doing? And what happens to both the men and women as a result?
83. He’s been talking about Israel all this time, the northern kingdom, and now what is his plea to the southern kingdom, Judah in verse 15? What are Gilgal and Beth-aven? At these places, people were swearing and saying, ‘As the Lord lives.’ So they were pretending to worship God, while disobeying God’s commands and worshiping in a way that He hated.
84. What is Israel like in verse 16? What is going to be the result of that attitude at the end of verse 16?
85. In verse 17, he uses the name Ephraim to describe Israel. What does he tell Judah to do with Israel? This is how wicked Israel has become! All they can be is a spiritual stumbling block to others.
86. What does the leadership of Israel love in verse 18? And what will be the end result for Israel in verse 19?
87. How would you summarize this chapter in a sentence or two?
88. In verse 1, God tells one group to hear and another group to give ear. Who are these two groups? He also wants another group to pay attention. What is that group? It’s like God is talking to these two groups and wanting the other group to listen as He does.
89. What does he want these two groups to hear?
90. What is the reason the judgment is for them?
91. A snare is what? Why might someone spread a net? So by calling the spiritual leadership a snare and a spread net, what is he saying about the leadership of Israel?
92. Mizpah was the home of Jepthah and Tabor was a mountain in the valley of Jezreel. So these are historic important sites, and he is saying, the leadership of Israel, have become traps for Israel at some of their most famous places.
93. In verse 2, he describes the leaders of Israel as ‘revolters.’ What does that say about them?
94. The revolters have gone deep into what? What does that word mean? And what is God going to do as a result?
95. Back in chapter 4, verse 1 God says Israel does not know Him. But in verse 3 of chapter 5, He says what about Himself?
96. What has Israel’s sin done to them at the end of verse 3? What does this word mean?
97. What do their deeds keep them from doing in verse 4? What kind of warning does this give us about the nature of sin?
98. Verse 3 begins I know Ephraim, but verse 4 ends saying what about Israel?
99. Hosea tells us in verse 5 that Israel is going to stumble. What is that stumbling going to look like in verse 6?
100. They are going to with flocks and herds to seek the Lord. What do you think this means?
101. What is going to happen though when they try to seek God and why will that happen and what is the reason for that in verse 7?
102. New moon festivals were supposed to be celebrations for Israel to enjoy the harvest, but they had combined a biblical kind of festival with pagan practices and what is this new moon festival going to do to them in verse 7? If we were going to say this, we might say, false religion eats people! What do you think that means?
103. Verse 8. Blowing horns and trumpets and sounding alarms, means what, do you think?
104. What is going to happen to Ephraim in verse 9? How confident is Hosea of this?
105. In verse 10, the princes of Judah have become like someone. What have they become like? What does it mean to move the landmark? If you don’t know look at Deuteronomy 19:14 and 27:17. Why would leadership ever do that? What happens to a country when the leadership starts stealing land from common people? What is God going to do them as a result?
106. What happened to Israel in verse 11 and why? What does that tell you about the nature of sin and how broken people are?
107. What is God going to be like to Ephraim and to Israel in verse 12? That is an interesting picture of God isn’t it? What do you think it means?
108. When Israel and Judah finally saw the problems they had, what did they do in verse 13? Would this work?
109. Verse 14 tells us why it will not work. God will not be like a moth or dry rot here. What will He be like instead? And what’s He going to do?
110. What is God going to do? How long is He going to do this for? What is He wanting from Israel?
111. What does Hosea plead with the people to do at the beginning of chapter 6?
112. What does he say God is able to do for Israel in verses 1 and 2 if they do return to Him?
113. If we go all the way back to chapter 2, verse 3, what is the last thing in that verse that God says He is going to do to Israel as a result of their sin? So Israel is going to be dead. And what is God going to do here in verse 2 of chapter 6? And what is the goal of this resurrection that is expressed at the end of verse 2?
114. What does Hosea want the people to do in verse 3? What does this say is at the heart of Israel’s problem? What will God do if they do press on to do this? Hosea says two things about God here. What does he tell us? These are obviously images, but what do you think these images teach us about what God is like?
115. How does verse 4 of chapter 6 begin? Who is asking these questions? How do these questions strike you? What is happening here? (How does this connect to the problem that God 4:1,6)
116. What does God say about Israel’s love. What is it like? What does this picture tell us about their attitude towards God?
117. In verse 5, God says because their love is like this, He has done what?
118. And in verse 6, God says He desires what two things? He actually makes a comparison, he says he wants one thing and not another thing. So they were giving him the one without the other, and how did God feel about that? What does that tell us about what God wants from His people? What does that tell us about how God feels about religious activity without love and knowledge?
119. In verse 7, God says that Israel did something like someone else. What did they do?
120. And Hosea begins to describe how they dealt faithlessly with God. What is Gilead like? What do the priests do? And what is the result in verse 10?
121. What is going to happen to the sinners in Judah when God finally acts to restore the fortunes of his people? (What is appointed for them? What does this word represent?)
122. In verse 1 of chapter 7, what does God want to do? But what happens as he goes to heal Israel?
123. What does it mean for iniquity to be revealed? And what are the sins that are revealed?
124. As we look at verse 2, we see that the people of Israel didn’t think about something. What didn’t they consider? And what happens because they didn’t think about that? What can we learn from that spiritually?
125. How did the leadership of Israel respond to the sins of the people in verse 3?
126. God is going to give some pictures of Israel in these verses. He says they are like something. For starters in verse 4, he says they are all what? And what are they like?
127. Let’s think about this picture. A baker is cooking bread and he heats up the oven and at a certain point he just goes off and doesn’t pay attention to the fire any longer. What can happen if you aren’t pay attention to a fire? Either it can go out, or it can get worse. In Israel’s case it gets worse, the fire rages, because they weren’t paying attention to their hearts.
128. In verse 5-7, Hosea explains how this happened. In verse 5, what did the leadership of Israel do? The day of our king is a funny phrase, but perhaps it just means at the crisis moment in Israel’s history, what did the leaders do?
129. Specifically in verse 6, what were their hearts like? They had this fire going on in their hearts and they didn’t pay attention to it, and so their anger did what? And what happened “in the morning” as a result?
130. Four of the last six kings of Israel were killed by others, and we see that in verse 7. Their anger led them to do what? And what happened to all their kings? And imagine this – in spite of all this chaos – in spite of all these problems – what did no one do?
131. What did Ephraim do in verse 8? What illustration does he use to explain their problem?
132. A cake not turned is a cake that is only cooked on one side. It maybe looks good on the one side, but turn it over and you see something is definitely wrong. Verse 9, what is happening to Israel as a result of these political alliances with foreign nations and does Israel realize it is happening? Gray hairs could be a picturesque way of talking about mold. Imagine this cake with mold and it’s like God is saying, you think you are delicious but you taste disgusting.
133. This is the sad nature of compromise! So often we compromise because we think it will help us, and even as we are compromising, we think it is helping us, but that compromise is actually destroying us.
134. Now verse 10. Israel is dying and what do they refuse to do? Connect this to verse 7 – what did they fail to do there? What does this say about God’s real problem with Israel?
135. There’s another picture of Israel in verse 11. What is he like? And what does that say about him? And what is it that proves this about him? Why do you think God was so against Israel seeking help from these foreign nations? (How does this connect back to Gomer’s problem – she didn’t love her husband and she sought other men!)
136. What is God going to do in verse 12 as they seek help from these foreign nations? At the end of this verse he says, I will discipline them according to the report made to their congregation. In other words, I have told them through prophets that I was going to punish them for this, and when they do it, I will discipline them for doing so, just like I said I would.
137. What is the reason God is punishing them in verse 13? And what is it that keeps him from rescuing them?
138. Again, verses 14-16 really lay out the issue with Israel. What do they fail to
do in verse 14? What do they do instead? What did God do for Israel in verse 15 and how did they respond to that? In verse 16, finally they do something, they return, but what’s the problem with the way they return? What are they like? What is going to happen to their leadership and why? And what are people in Egypt going to do to Israel as a result?
139. What spiritual lessons do you think you can draw from your own life from this chapter?
140. Once again God tells Hosea to set the trumpet to his lips. What does this mean Hosea is supposed to do?
141. What does he see that causes him to issue this warning? Specifically one like a what is over what?
142. What does the image of a vulture usually represent? House of the Lord is
a little more difficult because it usually refers to the temple. But Hosea is prophesying to the northern kingdom and the temple is in the southern kingdom, so here it probably refers just to the people of Israel in general. Someone like a vulture is hovering over Israel.
144. Now like most people when they are confronted with the consequences of their sins, Israel begins to squirm and try to get out of what’s coming by making excuses. And what is the excuse they make in verse 3? Specifically, what do they cry out?
145. How does verse 3 show this is sheer hypocrisy?
146. Verses 4-6 begin to explain exactly how they spurned the good. What two things did Israel do in verse 4 that showed they spurned the good?
147. Since Israel spurned the good, what does God spurn in verse 5? And how does God feel about what they have done? And what will be the result in verse 6?
148. We get an illustration of the consequences of choices in verse 7. Sowing and reaping are illustrations from what realm of life? And what did Israel sow and what will they reap and what is the point?
149. God describes the way they will reap the whirlwind as this verse continues. What happens at the end of verse 7? What is the consequence they will experience in verse 8?
150. God describes Israel at the end of verse 8 as a useless vessel among the nations. A vessel is something you normally have for a certain purpose, but now Israel was not able to accomplish that purpose because of their sins.
151. And again, verse 9, what choice did they make that caused them to be so useless? What do you think “gone up to Assyria” means? If you wonder look at the parallel statement at the end of verse 9 and the beginning of verse 10 and end of verse 10 and see if you can work out what have they done? And what will be the result?
152. How seriously does God take trusting in wicked men instead of him for deliverance?
153. Israel’s defense has been, God we know you. But in verses 11 through 14, God’s coming to them and saying, seriously. You really think you know me? What have they done in verse 11 and what has been the unsurprising result?
154. Now look at verse 12. God says if he were to do what, how would Israel respond? The point is it didn’t matter how many instructions God gave Israel or how much revelation they received, they didn’t pay attention to it and the result is found at the beginning of verse 13. They may go through the rituals of worship, but will those rituals somehow satisfy God?
155. No. So the end of verse 13 says what God will do. How is God going to punish their sins? They are going to return where? This is like a huge reversal. It is the same kind of reversal as was intended when Hosea named his third child, not my people. Israel is going to be sent back to the state they were in before He rescued them from Egypt, which was what?
156. And what’s the reason, according to verse 14?
157. They would have said, God we know you. That was verse 2. But God looks at them and says, no you don’t. You have forgotten me. And what was the proof of that? So far in the chapter we have seen the proof of that was, disobedience, idolatry, trusting in human means for deliverance, and ritualistic worship that wasn’t based on God’s word. But look at verse 14. It says Israel has forgotten its Maker and done what? And Judah ahs done what? What do you think that means?
158. In spite of how far Israel was from God, according to verse 1, what was Israel doing? (This makes it clear that how a person is feeling isn’t always a good indication of the status of their relationship with God!)
159. What image does Hosea come back to in the second half of verse 1 to describe Israel’s sin? What does he say they loved?
160. They thought they would reap reward for their sin – that’s what loving the prostitutes wages means – but, would they enjoy the rewards of sin? Look at verse 2 through 5. What are the wages they will receive as a result of forsaking God, specifically? If you are not fed, what are you? If you are kicked out of your home, what are you? And if you are not able to worship God and please Him when you worship Him, what are you missing?
161. Sin didn’t deliver what it promised to Israel! It never does.
162. In verse 6, at the very beginning what do the people think is happening? After that first line there is a but. The word but indicates a contrast. They think they are going away from something, but what is going to happen instead?
163. Though Israel was rejoicing at the moment, what does Hosea say has come in verse 7? What are they saying about the prophet at the moment and what is the reason they are saying that? Even though the people are saying this about the prophet, what does verse 8 tell us the prophet really is? And yet, how are the people responding to this prophet at the end of verse 8, even though all he is doing is trying to help them?
164. In Verse 9 God says that the people of Israel have corrupted themselves, and he compares the way they have corrupted themselves to a previous episode in their history. What specific historical circumstance is he talking about and what had Israel done at that point? What does God say He will do as a result?
165. Israel is definitely proving that it is possible to think your relationship with God is fine when it most definitely is not. We must allow the Word of God to evaluate us and not simply rest on how we feel our relationship with God is going.
166. In order to help Israel understand how far they had fallen, God looks back to their past once again. He says he found them like what?
167. Where did he find the grapes? When did he find the fruit? What do you think this indicates about God’s attitude towards Israel when He first chose them for Himself?
168. It is such a privilege to have the Creator of the Universe look at you like this. But how does this verse say that Israel responded to this great privilege?
169. What is Baal-peor?
170. What does this verse say they did there? What is the word that he uses for idolatry? What does that tell us about the nature of idolatry?
171. What happens to them as a result of loving these idols? What might that indicate about the nature of idolatry? Now think about this word, detestable. What does it mean? What is the contrast between what Israel was like at the beginning of this verse and at the end? And it’s idolatry that has done this to them!
172. There used to be a glory to Israel – after all they were chosen by God –but what is going to happen to that glory? When your glory does that, what is your condition at that moment?
173. What is going to happen to a nation if there is no birth, no pregnancy and no conception? What do you think God is saying is going to happen to Israel as a result of their sin?
174. If they are somehow able to bring up children, what is God going to do to them? This is very strong language, what point do you think God is trying to make?
175. What woe does God pronounce at the end of verse 12? What does that tell you about the source of Israel’s blessings?
176. What was Israel like when God first found them according to verse 13? What do you think you are supposed to feel about Israel as a result of that picture?
177. Though Israel was so beautiful, what did they do? (Either they did this by refusing to listen to God’s warnings of coming judgment or they did this literally by taking their children out to be sacrificed to idols.)
178. The people were worshiping Baal because they thought Baal was the god who would make them fertile. But what is going to happen to them as a result of this in verse 14? This sounds so intense, of course, but if they were leading their own children how to slaughter, in a sense, this is even a mercy to the children and a judgment on the parents!
179. What is Gilgal? What was happening at Gilgal? What does God say about his attitude towards Israel in this verse? What is he going to do as a result?
180. What is going to happen to Israel in verse 16 and 17? What picture does he use to describe what is going to happen? What is God going to do to them? Why?
181. In chapter 10, verse 1, what picture does Hosea come back to?
182. What happened as Israel bore fruit? (Who was enabling them to bear fruit? How did they use that fruit?)
183. What was the reason they were acting like this according to verse 2?
184. They became so wicked, they were going to say what in verse 3?
185. Hosea is helping us see just how false Israel’s heart was. Even though they were rejecting God’s leadership over their lives, in verse 4, they still were making empty promises to God, and what does God say is going to happen as a result?
186. What do the people want in verse 5? Remember they don’t fear God, but who do they seem to fear here? (What is this calf of Beth-Aven?)
187. What is God going to do this idol and how is Israel going to respond?
188. This is such a sad picture of the sinfulness of the human heart, because what should the people have been mourning about? But what were they
mourning about? And how do people still do this today?
189. The people said they didn’t want a king, and what does God say is going to happen in verse 7? What is he going to do to their high places? What picture does he give of what is going to happen at the end of verse 8?
190. What event does God bring up in verse 9 as an illustration of the extent of Israel’s sinfulness? (Where did we read about this before?) What question does he ask at the end of verse 9 and what do you think the question means?
191. When will God discipline Israel according to verse 10? How will God discipline them according to this verse?
192. In verse 11, Hosea uses an illustration from farming to contrast the way Israel was with what Israel has become. What kind of “calf” was Israel in the past? Did God need to use a yoke with her at that point, according to this verse? What do you think he is trying to say? Now, there is a contrast. He says but. What does God need to do now?
193. In light of this warning of coming discipline, what does verse 12 say that Israel should do now?
194. What would be the result of sowing righteousness?
195. Instead of sowing righteousness, they plowed what according to verse 13? And what was the result of doing that? What does that tell you about the nature of sin?
196. What have they trusted in and what will be the result of that?
197. Ironically, in verse 3, Israel said what? Now, what does God say will happen to them as a result of their consistent rebellion according to verse 15?
198. In chapter 11, what does God call Israel? (He’s used the illustration of a calf to describe Israel, and now what kind of illustration is he using here?)
199. What kind of father-child relationship did God have with Israel? What does he say about His attitude toward Israel?
200. Now he says, he did what out of Egypt? What event is God referring to here?
201. This is actually an important verse because it used in the New Testament as well. Turn over to Matthew 2:15. How does Matthew use this verse and what is the point he makes through it?
202. In Matthew where is Jesus headed? (To or from Egypt) So Jesus going down to Egypt somehow fulfills Israel coming out of Egypt that is talked about in Hosea. Let’s think about this. What did God say about his attitude towards Israel in the first part of this verse? And what is the proof in the second half of the verse? So how does Israel know that God loved them? Matthew wants us to see that Jesus is the Promised Messianic King. The promised Messianic King was to be a Son to God. And what Matthew wants to do is prove that Jesus is that Son, and so, how did Israel know that they were loved, God rescued them out of this precarious situation under Pharoah and brought them out of Egypt, and Matthew looks back at what happened with Jesus, and says God treated Jesus just like he treated Israel, and that shows Jesus is his Son, and that means he really is the Messianic King.
203. Israel was a very different kind of Son than Jesus however. How did Israel respond to God’s love, according to verse 2?
204. In spite of Israel’s response to God’s love, how did God relate to Israel as a child? What kind of Father was he in verses 3 and 4?
205. What kind of picture does this give us of God? There’s first the picture of a husband whose wife has left him and then there is this picture of a father whose child is turning their back on him. What does that tell you of God?
206. What’s going to happen to them specifically? And what is the reason? (He says it in verse 5 and again in verse 7.)
207. What is God the Father’s attitude towards all this as expressed in verse 8? What does this tell you about God?
208. Because of this great love, even though God is going to discipline Israel, there’s still hope. And what is that hope, according to verse 10 and 11. What is going to happen after the exile?
209. In verse 12 we read of Ephraim doing something. What is that they are doing? This is in contrast to Judah. When we read a verse like this, we might think, in what way are they doing this? Well, continue to read. Verse 1 of chapter 12, continues this theme, and how does this verse end. The end is the key, because it explains the ways in which Israel has surrounded God with lies.
210. What is an indictment?
211. What is the standard or measure that God is going to use to judge Israel?
212. What story is Hosea recalling in verse 3-4?
213. What did Israel want at the beginning of verse 4? What did He seek? What does that word mean?
214. What is the privilege that Israel experienced as a result of this request at the end of verse 4?
215. Hosea identifies the God with whom Israel entered into this special relationship in verse 5. He says, Yahweh is his memorial name. What is a memorial? Now look at Exodus 3:15. How does Exodus 3:15 help us understand what is meant by memorial name?
216. So Hosea is reminding Israel of their long relationship with God, and calling on them to learn from that example, and do what exactly in verse 6? What does it tell you about God that in spite of all that has been said in Hosea so far, this is still the solution that is being given?
217. What keeps Israel from waiting for God according to verses 7 and 8? (He is using an illustration in verse 7. He compares Israel to what? And yet what does Israel say in verse 8?) What is at the heart of Israel’s problem?
218. There is a kind of pride that keeps Israel from believing that God really can judge them, and yet what does God say to that pride in verse 9?
219. What privilege did God give Israel according to verse 10?
220. This means of course that what Hosea is saying is from God, which means that even if Israel doesn’t think God will judge them this Word is coming from God, and so verse 11 tells us what is going to happen. What is going to happen if there is sin in Gilead? They might argue, but what about our sacrifices for our sin. Well, what are their altars like? A stone heap is not much of an altar is it. What do you think God is saying?
221. Once again in verse 12, Hosea comes back to Jacob. How did Jacob get
to Aram according to Hosea? What does that word fled indicate? When do you flee? So, he ran to the land of Aram as a fugitive and what did he get when he was there? According to this verse? So even in fleeing, God was able to bless Him. This is showing once again God’s kindness. Then in verse 13, Hosea talks about God doing what for Israel? And how did he do it? Who was this prophet? And once again, this is reminding Israel to trust the prophet God has sent. And yet they are not. Instead they have done what to God in verse 14? And how will God respond?
222. If someone speaks and other people tremble, what does that tell you about the person speaking? What is Hosea saying about what Israel used to be like in the beginning of verse 1?
223. The word but in the middle of the verse indicates what?
224. And why did this change take place? And what was the end result?
225. Did they learn from this? Verse 2? Instead of learning from it, what did they do?
226. There was something that was being said of the people of Israel at the end of verse 2. What were they saying? Now, kissing a calf. What does that mean. How were calves used wrongly in worship in Israel’s history. And kissing is a way of showing respect. So how did they show respect to their idols according to this verse? That’s the thing about false teaching! It always does damage!!!
227. What is going to be the consequences they will experience as a result of this idolatry according to verse 3? What are the images that Hosea uses and what do you think those images are supposed to illustrate about what will happen to them?
228. This idolatry was so foolish according verse 4, why?
229. There is a contrast in verse 5 and 6. God took Israel through the wilderness and brought them to a place where they could “graze and become full.” What do you think this image is saying about Israel? Now, when this happened, what did Israel do? What does that tell you about the danger of prosperity?
230. What images does God use to describe what He will do to Israel as a result in verses 7 and 8?
231. Why does God do this according to verse 9?
232. There were times in Israel’s history where they were placing their trust in
their kings. But what does God ask in verse 10? What do you think that means? Verse 11 tells us what about God’s sovereignty over Israel’s kings? What does that tell you about who Israel should have been trusting in? They were trusting in what they could see, when they should have been trusting in God!
233. Verse 12 says that Ephraim’s sin is bound up and kept in store. What does that mean?
234. Now we see why in verse 13. He uses an illustration from birth. The pangs of childbirth are painful experiences that are supposed to lead to something – birth. The discipline Israel experienced was supposed to lead to repentance. But instead of the pangs of childbirth leading to birth, what does this baby do according to verse 13? What does that say about the problem with Israel?
235. If someone wanted to say it is too late for Israel, they might ask, can God really rescue them from death? (After all, you remember verse 1, it says that Israel incurred guilt and they died.) God answers that question with what two questions in the middle of verse 14? And yet, He won’t. Why, according to the end of verse 14? But again, God won’t show compassion because Israel refuses to come back to God and look for it!
236. Verse 15 says that Israel for a time might what?
237. And yet, what is going to happen in spite of that? What are the different illustrations God uses to describe what Israel is going to experience?
238. What is going to happen and why, according to verse 16?
239. Again, Hosea is saying all this so that Israel will do what, according to verse 1?
240. Now, what will that repentance look like according to verses 2-3?
241. And what would God’s response be if they did this, according to verse 4?
242. What will God be like to Israel in verse 5? What is this image supposed to say to us? What is the result of this – according to verse 5 and 6? What images does he use here to describe what Israel will be like? What are these images supposed to say about Israel do you think?
243. What will happen to Israel if they repent according to verse 7?
244. What does all of this teach us about repentance and about God’s desire for us?
245. What question does God ask Israel in verse 8? What does this teach us about God?
246. After asking this question about idols, God says something to Israel. What does he say? How does this relate all the way back to the illustration of Hosea’s relationship with his wife?
247. What does God say He is like in verse 8?
248. When you talk about people bearing fruit, what do you think that is supposed to represent? What does God teach Israel about how they bear fruit according to verse 8?
249. Hosea ends with a proverb. What will a wise and discerning person do according to the beginning of verse 9? Why will he do it? And what will an upright person do with God’s Words? On the other hand, what will a wicked person do with God’s Words?
250. In other words, God’s Word is the judge of you. If you are foolish, you won’t understand what God is saying, if you are not able to think clearly, you won’t seek to know what God is saying, and the way you respond to God’s Word, will show whether you are an upright person or a sinner.
251. How are you going to respond to the book of Hosea? What have you learned about God? What have you learned about His plan? What have you learned about salvation? What have you learned about people? And what are you going believe, think, feel or do differently as a result of what you have learned?